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MPhA News & Notes

Steve Simenson Receives University of Minnesota’s Highest Alumni Award


MPhA Past President Steve Simenson received the University of Minnesota’s Outstanding Achievement Award from President Eric Kaler at an event on June 28 at Eastcliff. The award is the university’s highest non-degree honor. Simenson is a 1977 (BPharm) graduate of the College of Pharmacy. He is CEO and managing partner of Goodrich Pharmacy, Inc. Nearly 75 colleagues, friends and family members participated, coming from across the state, the region and the nation to help recognize the tremendous contributions Steve has made at all levels of pharmacy to advance patient care through pharmacist-provided clinical services.



Simenson was recognized for his innovation in pharmacy practice, his leadership in his community and his pharmacy leadership at the state and national level.


“Steve is perhaps the state of Minnesota’s foremost community pharmacist who is often recognized nationally as a key example of what a community pharmacy and pharmacist can do to bring direct patient care services to its patients,” said Marilyn Speedie, dean of the College of Pharmacy. “In a profession that is changing its focus from product to patient care, Steve is a pioneer and a leader. He demonstrates what is possible and then helps others do it as well.”

Simenson joined Goodrich Pharmacy of Anoka in 1981. Under his leadership, the practice has grown to six locations and the services offered have expanded from traditional dispensing services to include immunizations, asthma management, blood-pressure monitoring, cholesterol screening, custom compounding (human and veterinary), diabetes management, medication therapy management, smoking cessation, as well as health services to employers.

He was instrumental in Goodrich Pharmacy becoming one of the first pharmacy practices to be connected to a health system’s patient electronic medical record. This connectivity is now a national model for improving patient care by facilitating interdisciplinary practice.

Simenson is a renowned pharmacy leader who served as president of the Minnesota Pharmacists Association in 2000, and of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA) in 2014. He has been recognized for his leadership with a number of awards, including fellowship status in APhA, the Bowl of Hygiea Award, and the Distinguished Pharmacist Award from the Pharmacy Alumni Society. Simenson also serves on the COP’s National Board of Advisors, and as a mentor and preceptor to pharmacy students and residents.

Additional photos from the event can be viewed at the MPhA Facebook page.

Brent Thompson Elected to APhA-APPM Executive Committee

Congratulations to MPhA member and Past President Brent Thompson, PharmD, Pharmacy Director at FirstLight Health System in Mora, Minn., who was recently elected to the American Pharmacists Association Academy of Pharmacy Practice & Management (APhA-APPM). Brent’s term will begin at the 165th APhA Annual Meeting and Exposition in Nashville, Tenn., in March 2018 and runs through March 2020.

Aronson Welcomed as New Affiliate Member at Wulling Center

MPhA member Ben Aronson, PharmD, PhD, will join the newly forming Student Success Team at the Wulling Center for Innovation & Scholarship in Pharmacy Education (W-CISPE), part of the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy. Dr. Aronson and his team will explore variables that help the college’s students to thrive professionally.

Read more

Lowell Anderson Retires from COP


Long-time MPhA member and Past President Lowell Anderson, professor and co-director of the Center for Leading Healthcare Change, retired on July 14.


He joined the college in 2008 and helped develop and manage the UPlan MTM network for the University of Minnesota Employee Health Plan, and oversaw many leadership activities within the college and in pharmacy practice, including spearheading the most recent revisions to the state’s Pharmacy Practice Act.

Prior to his role at the college, he owned and practiced at Falcon Heights Pharmacy and Bel-Aire Pharmacy in White Bear Lake.

Throughout his career, he held numerous leadership positions in local, national and international pharmacy organizations, including serving as president of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), Minnesota Pharmacists Association (MPhA) and Minnesota Board of Pharmacy. He also served as director of the American Council on Pharmaceutical Education.
Additionally, he has been honored with many awards, including the Remington Honor Medal, MPhA’s Bowl of Hygeia and Harold R. Popp Award for Outstanding Community Service, the University of Minnesota Regents’ Outstanding Achievement Award, Distinguished Pharmacist Award, and the Lawrence & Delores Weaver Medal. He was also recognized as a Fellow of the Fédération Internationale Pharmaceutique (FIP) and APhA.

COP Professor Abul-Hajj Retires

After a five-year phased retirement, Professor Yusuf Abul-Hajj retired on June 30. A faculty member since 1968, Yusuf served in many leadership positions, including head of the Department of Medicinal Chemistry for 21 years. Under his leadership, Medicinal Chemistry became one of the top ranked departments in the country and prepared numerous future medicinal chemists. He also served as senior editor of the Journal of Medicinal Chemistry from 1995 to 2012.

For nearly 50 years, Dr. Abul-Hajj has conducted groundbreaking research on the development of steroidal agents for the treatment of breast cancer as well as studying the underlying mechanisms involved in the genotoxicity and carcinogenicity of estrogens.

In 2012, Yusuf co-authored the book From Digitalis to Ziagen, which covers the history of Medicinal Chemistry at the college, including the establishment of the department as well as the leadership role the department and its faculty played in drug development.

He has received many awards and recognitions throughout his career, including the Lawrence and Delores Weaver Medal, and was named a Fellow of both the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Chemical Society. Recently, he was selected to receive a Citation of Merit from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in recognition of his outstanding record of contribution to pharmacy and society through research, teaching, and involvement in professional and community organization.

Karunya Kandimalla to Receive University of Iowa Genesis Award

MPhA member Karunya Kandimalla, PhD, will receive the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy’s Genesis Award for 2017. The award is presented to graduates of the past 15 years who have achieved early distinction in their field. Nominees include those who have made considerable contributions to the theory and practice of pharmacy or have demonstrated major accomplishments in a professional pharmacy practice or in pharmaceutical research and development. Recipients have also contributed truly exceptional service to their community, the college, the profession or the public.

Dr. Kandimalla is an associate professor in the University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy’s Department of Pharmaceutics. His research interests include delivery of therapeutic and diagnostic agents to the central nervous system, nanomedicine, cellular pharmacokinetics and protein biophysics.

UMN College of Pharmacy Wins Award at AACP

The University of Minnesota College of Pharmacy had a significant presence at the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy (AACP) Annual Meeting in Nashville. The College won the 2017 Award of Excellence in Experiential Education and a poster sponsored by the College and Regis University was named best SAS Poster. MPhA Member Kerry Fierke was named chair-elect of the Leadership Development SIG. Several faculty members — including MPhA members Lara Kerwin, Kristin Janke, Jean Moon and Ann Philbrick — made presentations and/or had posters at the event.

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